TAUNTON Muskets Baseball Club is aiming to build on a successful 2020 season, in the new-look South West Baseball League (SWBL) this summer.

The Muskets line up alongside Bristol Buccaneers, Weston Jets and Cornish Claycutters in the Wessex Division, while also playing inter-league games against Bristol Bats, Bristol Brunels, Cardiff Merlins and Bournemouth Bears A from the Severn Division.

The winners of each division will meet in a regional play-off at the end of August, with the winner progressing to the national play-offs in September.

The SWBL season is to start on Sunday, May 16, when the Muskets travel to Cornwall to take on the Claycutters.

Last September the Muskets clinched third spot in the British Baseball Federation’s (BBF) Single A national tournament, losing to eventual winner Essex Archers before beating Kent Buccaneers in the third place play-off.

The club had been forced to extend its winter break due to Covid-19 restrictions, but the Muskets have now started spring training at the diamond in Victoria Park, on Tuesday evenings.

As the season approaches the club is happy to welcome new players, male or female, of any ability, with all equipment provided and qualified coaching offered.

More information can be found across most social media channels (via ‘Taunton Muskets Baseball’) or by emailing tauntonmuskets@gmail.com.

Newly elected club chairman Kevin Snow is looking forward to the new SWBL season.

“The opportunity to challenge ourselves against the best in the South West is great for the club’s development and baseball in the region,” he said.

“Hopefully we can represent Taunton again in the national play-offs in September.”

Nicky Hewitt, entering her second year as club secretary, has been building relationships with the council to continue the development in Victoria Park.

“It’s good to be located more centrally in town, allowing the community see the diamond being used and encouraging more people to get involved, especially as everyone is looking for ways to get out again after recent lockdowns,” she said.

As baseball continues to grow in the South West, the Muskets hope to continue to be a major part of that growth.

This year they have set up a local partnership scheme, inviting local businesses to get involved with mutual advertising and sponsorship.

So far the club has joined up with Karuta Sportswear of Weston as a kit supplier, CJG Fire & Security, R. Chorley Electricals, Porters Plumbing Solutions and BS Autos & Diagnostics.

The Muskets are keen to continue to add to this list; more information can again be found via social media or tauntonmuskets@gmail.com.